Paris-Roubaix rider Michael Goolaerts of Belgium dies after collapsing in race

Grant SmithApr 09, 2018

A statement from the team read: "It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaearts".

'He passed away on Sunday evening at 22.40 in Lille Hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts.

Veranda's Willems-Crelan confirmed to Belgian broadcaster Sporza that the 23-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest, receiving emergency treatment from medical staff at the scene.

He has been in superb form this season - placing ninth at Dwars dooor Vlaanderern and 20th at both Driedaagse De Panne and Kuuren-Brussel-Kuurne. He was quickly attended by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.

Peter Sagan, who went on to win the race, offered his own support via Twitter before it emerged that the Belgian had lost his fight for life.

It is his second win in the "monuments" - cycling's five most prestigious one-day races - following his Tour of Flanders victory in 2016.

With 55km left, Belgium's defending champion Greg van Avermaet and Sagan attacked one after the other and the Slovakian quickly caught the three breakaway riders. "I'm exhausted after this race but not as exhausted as in previous years when I didn't win it for some reasons", Sagan said.

Today he made his main attack 54km from the finish.

The race was marred by several crashes that ended the hopes of outsiders Sebastian Langeveld and Matteo Trentin close to the Trouee d'Arenberg sector.

Terpstra, whose Quick-Step team had been expected to dominate the race, said nothing could have been done to stop the Slovak.

The 257km race is known as the "Hell of the North", in part because of the numerous crashes its treacherous cobbles provoke.

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